DENNIS SIMMONS in Tales of Knotts Island
January 31, 2012. from Cheryl Copper
Dennis Simmons was born in 1782, the son of John Simmons and Amy
married September 4, 1773. He had two brothers--John and Robert, and a
sister, Elizabeth. Their paternal grandfather, Robert had a 500 acre
Knotts Island (and a distillery in London and property in
Simmons are connected to many Princess Anne County and Knott's Island
families. In Robert Simmons' will (October 20, 1784) he names his
Mary Bonney (and grandsons Solomon and William Bonney), daughter
Bonney, daughter Lydia Balance, Granddaughter Mary Answell (Ansell).
and his siblings appear in orphan dockets mysteriously under the
guardianship of Amy White, there may be a connection to a James
the following years.
On January 13, 1806, Dennis married Judith Haines (Haynes), daughter
Erasmus Haynes and Hattie Smith, of Princess Anne County in Virginia.
Smiths were said to have been from New Jersey where they owned much
property.) Judith was 17 years old when she married Dennis who was
"gentleman farmer" with his own sailing vessels, hence the informal
Captain Simmons. They had five daughters and one son: Elizabeth, born
October 8, 1811. Then Sarah, Martha Jane, Amy and Eliza. Their son was
Dennis. (The story in the family is that Dennis Jr became a doctor of
medicine and married a woman from Philadelphia where he died a few
later. His wife died a few years later. They had no children.)
Dennis and Judith Simmons left Knotts Island for Norfolk County where in 1847 he purchased the old Ivy property which is today known as Algonquin Park. By 1850 he seems to have sold all of his Knotts Island property, and at 67 years of age continued there as a farmer. The property is listed on a Civil War map as D. Simmons.